2007-11-16 / Community

DOH To Provide Nicotine Patches

Health Department is partnering with city hospitals, community organizations and clinics to observe this year's Great American Smokeout by giving away nicotine patches at sites across the five boroughs, the agency announced today. The Smokeout, a national tradition that dates back more than three decades, will take place on Thursday, November 15th, this year. Up to a third of the nation's 46 million smokers typically quit smoking for at least a day during the event. The goal of the local giveaway is to help more of them quit for good. Cigarettes - the city's leading cause of preventable death - kill 8,000 New Yorkers every year.

"If you smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do for your health," said Sarah Perl, the Health Department's Assistant Commissioner for Tobacco Control. "Besides helping you live longer, quitting helps you feel better and look better now. If you can't do it alone, try using nicotine patches. They can double your chances of quitting successfully."

"We urge all smokers to take the Great American Smokeout challenge," said Tamara Ehlin, Director of Community Health Initiatives at the American Cancer Society, Brooklyn Region. "Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. Nicotine patches can really make the difference."

"Nicotine patches make quitting easier," said Kerry Gillespie, director of Staten Island University Hospital's smoking cessation program, "but they're not magic bullets. Successful quitting requires changes in thought and behavior. We have helped thousands of Staten Island residents quit smoking through a combination of nicotine patches and behavioral change counseling."

The city's- Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is also handing out free patches at hospitals; please visit www.nyc.gov/hhc for locations.

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